Tuesday, December 21, 2010

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

Good Morning,

I'm drinking a banana, strawberry, durian smoothie right now. Wow, astringent and oniony from the durian, and creamy. An interesting shake! No agave. Not that sweet. But okay, differnt!

Cliff hated the durian yesterday! When we first tried it YEARS ago, he LOVED it and i DESPISED it! Now i love it's strangeness. I froze the leftovers!

I had such an amazing day yesterday. Not with food, with singing! All of the writing i did the other day on my need to practice more really sunk in and wow, did it make a difference! I had the BEST practice of my LIFE!

To preserve what i did, so i can do it AGAIN, and AGAIN, and AGAIN, I wrote down all of the self-directions I could think of that I was using that my new teacher is teaching me and implemented them as I sang to Sondra Rodvanofky's new Verdi CD. Everything came together and i know it's disgusting when I brag, because I can't always follow through and have those kind of repeat performances, but I think i sang BETTER than Sondra...who now stars at the MET! Her rendition of "Pace, pace" from Verdi's La Forza del Destino sucks! Mine is going to blow hers out of the water!

My fears of being able to follow through have deeep roots in lack of self trust and lack of self confidence. But since I made a very sincere promise to myself to practice more, daily, I feel like.... no, i KNOW i won't lose my way as much. I feel a new confidence. I feel fucking fabulous!

They say 'practice makes perfect'. Cliff, my piano teacher fiance'-hubby, is fond of saying "PERFECT practice makes perfect." Is that ever true. The amount of FOCUS needed yesterday to keep my perfect optimal singing posture constant was SOMETHING. It takes a LOT of focus to reign myself in and STOP myself from being out of control (swaying, not breathing deeply, my neck pushing forward, holding tension in my jaw, not starting the tone on the breath, etc...). In controlling all of the crucial elements that bring my voice to it's optimal state, I'm suddenly FREE to do whatever i want: diminuendo, crescendo, piannissimo, forte, fioritore and runs. What a lesson. CONTROL for FREEDOM.

Hm. Sound familiar?

I even sang for Cliff and he flashed his eyes at me everytime i seemed to break from my correct posture. It was a good support. Earlier i did it myself without him and later. But, he was amazed and said i sounded like I was professional. You know what? Soooo many professionals in the opera world have TOLD me I have the voice for it. But, what was standing in my way? ME.

"The only thing standing in the way of you is yourself." Toma to Nina...from The Black Swan

Cliff and I both shared that this is the exact reason we are both so frustrated with me and frustrated with what I DO myself with food. Because we KNOW I can do it. I can BE professional level. I am professional level. If i learn to control myself.

Affirmation: "I am learning to control myself."

A peace that surpassed all understanding washed over me yesterday after all of the singing that finally met my potential. Isn't that what they say about Jesus? ..."a piece that surpasses all understanding..." That's what it felt like. Being born again.

It was like I said "hello" to the black swan. "I knew you were there all along."

But i can't kill myself in the process of getting there.

Thus, the renewed desire to go in the direction of raw. I'm afraid to say committment lest i fail...again.

But, i really want to get back on track.

Suddenly, this big bloated ever-growing body doesn't serve this amazing voice anymore. To do auditions, to go to LA in May for the Classical Singer Convention, I have to look my best because I am the best! Haha! How's that for confidence!

Smoothies will get me there. Not big bowls of pasta with cheese and butter and popcorn with 3 Tbsp of butter drizzled over.

Fun. Delicious. Decadent. Illegal.

But look at me, afterwards.

I wish the fun "activity" of eating didn't leave me fatter. I just love to eat, the sensual pleasure of it.

Oh, well!!!!

Here's when the artistic sacrifice comes into play. You wanna play, you gotta pay. SACRIFICE.
If i can learn to control my voice, i can learn to control my EATING.

In the quiet knowingness i awoke with today, it was almost as if i had had a GOOD food day yesterday, which i did not. The guilt, remorse, feelings of disgust and self hatred had vanished. But why? My evening binge consisted of 1 fake bologna sandwhich with mayo and cheese, 1 box of fake chicken nuggets and 1/2 lb of pasta with cheese and butter sauce, 1 muffin and some macaroni and cheese. Yet, i awoke today feeling "reborn." It was as if it didn't matter. I was FREE. I was ME. I'm the SWAN.

Now, i just have to act like it, daily, and everyone ELSE will recognize her, too.

Control my eating and control my voice.

Suddenly, i feel very empowered!!!!

"You place too much emphasis on a teacher," Cliff noticed. "You just have to WORK."

I've always been AFRAID of work. "I can't do it!" Suddenly, "working" doesn't seem so scary. I have my list of what i need to remind myself of each time i practice. "I can DO it." I did it yesterday! I did it already this morning! Now just don't stop!!!

I can be the ME I always wanted to be. And if I can do it? Fuck, ANYBODY CAN.

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, December 20, 2010

DURIAN FOR BREAKFAST!



Okay, it's official, i just had my first RAW breakfast in days...DURIAN!!! Man, was THAT good!!! No, the skinny person cutting the durian is not me, silly!

We bought a durian last night at the Asian Market on a whim...and mmmmmm, it's not a smelly one, it's so SWEET, so custardy, so funkidelically wierd and wonderful with it's 8 creamy hidden pods, each pod consists of a big brown pit surrounded by custardy yellow fragrant egglike puddinglike fruit. In this durian, there are 2 pod fruits per pod chamber, 8 yellow fat pudding nuggets in all. The color of the mush is so remarkably similar, and in texture...to scrambled eggs! The taste is somewhere between a permanent wave...and heaven. It's indescribable. A good durian is just decadently delicious.

How do you pick a good one? They arrive frozen from Asia, so, the sooner you want to eat it, the softer you pick it. Last night, I recalled Arnold's instruction to buy one that 'gives' when you push the conelike prickled exterior. But, just to be sure, we asked the Asian Store owner for assistance. "You want for tonight or tomorrow? Pick soft. Dis one good. Leave on counter. Good tomorrow."

MMm...was she ever right!!! YUMMMM!!!! At Arnold's Way, Arnold or Stephanie often gift all of the workers with a surprise durian. We all go into the thing like vultures pulling apart a hyena.

Here is a cool website i found dedicated to durians! Lots of neat facts. Did you know you can kill someone by throwing the "thorny fruit" and hitting someone's head? http://durian.net/


The first time Cliff and I tried durian, i almost barfed. He loved it right away. The smell is what i couldn't bear.

They say Durian is an aquired taste. It's true.

You know when i started enjoying Durian? We used to serve a smoothie at Arnold's Way that had durian and mango and banana and lemon in it. Well, it was such a good smoothie and had such a light durian flavor, that i grew totally accustomed to it in this very very mild format because it was mixed with other familiar fruity flavors. After experiencing that shake many a time, the real thing didn't ook me out anymore and I came to crave it just like all of the Arnold's Way crew does!

Yes, so, you have to acquaint yourself with it's unique and unpleasant scent. Give yourself 10x. If you still don't like it, then give up. But, i know you will love it!

It doesn't smell unpleasant to me anymore. It smells sweet and invitiing!

I admit that i walked into the kitchen to make scrambled eggs this morning, but saw the Durian we bought last night and decided to actually go out on a limb and be the raw inspiration this morning. What a nice change!

Fuck watching my fat intake. Fuck 811. Sometimes you just have to start WRONG to start. If i want to eat avocados and durian all day i should just do THAT. I'm so sick of trying to DO everything perfectly. Just DO it!

Dustin and Meredith were in the other day. Here are their websites: http://www.therawseed.com/ed.com and http://www.hundredthmonkeyeffect.net/ and http://www.dustinkellogg.com/ . They are so inspiring. Dustin has lost 110 lbs and is a total skinny minnie hottie. And he eats anything he wants as long as it's raw. He definitely doesn't BINGE like me so don't take "eating anything he wants" to mean huge volume. In fact, Dustin's wife, Meredith, conceeds that her husband "snacks" instead of eating 3 big meals a day. That means to me he eats frequent small meals.

Okay, but he gets to look hot and gorgeous and be a success and be skinny AND eat whatever he wants as long as it's raw. And then there's me. I eat whatever i want, all day, in enormous volume, and only get fatter and fatter and more depressed...because it's not raw and it's killing me.

And I'm sick of complaining. Time to DO!!!

Mmmmmm.....nasty selfish thought...if Cliff doesn't eat much of it, i'll have the ENTIRE Durian to MYSELF today!!!!!!

My singing yesterday was so-so. I have to work at it more. The only thing standing in my way...is myself.

Today? This morning I bypassed SELF and operated out of SPIRIT. It is a GOOD morning.

God, it's good to be back.

xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, December 19, 2010

THE BLACK SWAN AND THE FIGHTER

Hiya, Fine readers.

How are you all today?? I'm going to talk about 2 movies i recently saw, so if you want to see them without knowing about them first, maybe don't read this.

I hope I can work my way out of the pits. I feel much better today, and hopefully i can "do" much better today, but it's been a bad week with food.

And then i think and ask myself, "Michelle, if you use FOOD to express your feelings, then what else is going on in your life that may be causing you to feel 'out of control'?

Good question.

ALOT.

For one, cliff's mom is on death's door every other day. I didn't realize until just yesterday that this is probably causing me lots of stress, watching my Mother-in-Law die. It's heartbreaking and like a roller coaster ride. One day we think she's dying, the next she pulls through, etc.. This has been very hard on Cliff and he needs me right now.

Being supportive for Cliff is a must but it comes with tension. What is my role? I'm more assertively minded than he is. "Call the home and tell them you want a new dr today!!" He's more laid back...wait and see, and it causes friction between us. I try to get him to see he has to take more control of the reigns, but sometimes i just have to let go.

His laid back attitude "wait and see, wait and see!" also affects how i feel about him. I do not like it when he has no cajones. I get angry at him. He is doing his best with his mom and running there DAILY to feed her, but the entire situation with the home, the staff, i could just scream. Why aren't they working as hard as he is to save him mom? I want to rip her out of that home and find a new one for her. But, she likes it there, and Cliff wants to keep her in comfortable and familiar surroundings. It is something i get intensely frustrated over, and i have to just let it in his hands. I hope he makes the right moves. And then i think, if i don't trust him, what am I doing with him?? He couldn't be more dedicated and devoted to his mother, it's just his style to be more, much more RESERVED than i am. And then i realize that and i realize how much he loves me and i him and no couples have the same style when it comes to parenting or taking care of parents. Couples always have friction in these areas.

But, it's been a stress. And my answer to stress is to eat.

I also have alot of music i have to learn in the next few months. Upcoming engagements always fill me with tremendous anxiety.

I have a christmas concert today i'm singing in. I'm trying to let go of anxiety and allow the music to come through me.

I want to be perfect and i'm not. With every imperfect performance, I lose confidence in myself, in my abilities. I look at all of the parts i screwed up on, instead of all of the parts i did well.

Did you see the BLACK SWAN?

AMAZING MOVIE!!

There are so many life/performance lessons in it about confidence and personal power and insanity and the power of sexual energy and passion and getting stabbed in the back and competition in the arts and insecurity and self destruction and fear and independance vs. dependance and eating disorders and self mutilation and letting go vs control and so many more.... A GREAT film!

The most memorable lesson in the movie for me was when Nina's hot french teacher says to her (because she is too controlled and too frightened to play the Black Swan): "The only person standing in your way is yourself. Let go, and let a miracle happen."

Let go. Let go.

This is what my singing teacher keeps telling me.

I get so tense when i sing. On those rare occassions when i allow myself to let go of tension and allow the singing to come through me, i can make miracles happen, too. The french teacher in the film also says this and it's so true: "All of the technique in the world won't help you if you can't let go."

The movie is such an interesting exploration of so many themes i can relate to.

Another stress has been that my pianist is often passive aggressive and not very encouraging and supportive. This causes me pain. I should be more direct with him about telling me what's bothering him so that i don't have to experience what feels like abuse.

The more i write this, the more i realize just how much has been bothering me.

I also have a new opera starting rehearsals in 10 days. I'm somewhat prepared for it. The role is small and i've sung it twice before, so i shouldn't be that concerned about it, but, again, i want to be perfect. I have to learn from the Swan movie, that i just have to let go, let God, just trust, and relax. Do my work, study the music, work on what Dolores is teaching me, but then let go.

INSERTED LATER [I also have to learn the intense POWER of REHEARSAL and in SACRIFICING for one's art. You can't get GOOD if you don't put a LOT of DAILY WORK into it.]

After that opera, i have a HUGE role to relearn in one month - not that much time. i have to relearn it by feburary - feb is not that far off - and i'm quite concerned. i mean, i KNOW the role, but relearning it with my new teacher is also a HUGE stress. I did the role pretty freakin' fabulous before. I have to remember to not lose what i learned from my old teacher that worked for me.

As a matter of fact, the fact that i'm taking lessons from a new teacher has ALSO been a very big stress. She IS trying to teach me to just let go, drop the tension, and just allow myself to sing, so i KNOW there is hope for this direction of work together because i have done some amazing singing, better than EVER in her studio. What she is teaching me, it is exactly what i need. But she has in many ways, 'pulled the rug out from under me." My old teacher showed me how to "control" my technique. My new teacher is trying to take away my control. She wants to take me to the NEXT level and take away all of my crutches and all of my unnecessary tensions. It is a challenging process and within it, i have become more and more insecure in my ability to perform, because i have difficulty letting go and keep continually failing in performance to sing as well as i do in my lessons. Then, i go to my lesson feeling badly for having so-so perforamnces, and end up having the most incredible lesson where i've never sung BETTER! Wonderful lessons are exhilerating, but so-so performances are heart crushing. [I need to practice more.] Feeling that i need to rely on a teacher to sing well and that i can't yet do it on my own causes me undo stress also because i still have to perform and i've come to the point where i KNOW it won't be good enough now. I'm beginning to expect failure on my own. [I have to practice more.]

You know what? I just need to work more and stop complaining. I don't practice enough. If i want independance then i have to work at it. [There you go. I have to practice more.]

In the Black Swan, Nina's teacher, a hot womanizing frenchman, is trying to show her that she has it within her to push herself past her limitations, to let all of her passion out when she performs instead of being so controlled. My teacher is trying to do the same thing.

But it's scary. And i need to express my fears instead of eat over them. What good is it if i rely on food to allay my terrible insecurities??? I feel very much like Nina, the Swan, who begins to pick at her skin and cut herself and experience a complete mental breakdown as she tries to "let go" with her art. Two nights ago, at my rehearsal with my accompanist, i sang a high note poorly, so later on, I asked my accompanist if we could do that section again. (wanted to actaully DO what my teacher told me and when singing the high note, just "let go" and drop all tension.) Well, i did it, brilliantly! It felt so good, so free, and my accompanist said he got chills!!! Then he said he thought it was "a fluke", and questioned the direction i'm going in with my teacher. I came home severely distressed and ate. CAN i do that again, let go and allow the miracle to happen, or was it just a fluke? And do i have to eat over it just because his questioning my direction was distressful and unpleasant? Do I have to be supported by EVERYONE? Can't i handle a little irritation without eating??

Facing other people's opinions is a terrible challenge, sometimes. The Black Swan is ripe with backstabbing and gossip and underhanded actions and underhanded compliments and motives and insecurities and aging in art and questions about who to trust. Who DO you trust??? It's sometimes HARD to figure out just WHO to listen to, which direction to go in...

I actually trust my teacher. How amazingly i sing in my lessons gives me hope for the future some day. It's ME i don't trust, that i can accomlish it. [That has to change. I need to practice more.] I need to work more, and work more on my terribly lacking confidence. Confidence!!! [There you go. WORK MORE.]

Sometimes i think i should run back to my old teacher, who had me singing at a very good level... But, it was not 'free.' Yet, in trying to achieve freedom in my sound with my new teacher, i've experienced a collapse of many things i worked for years for, like a low larynx and an engaged diaphragm. Yet, something in me says that this new direction is worth it, that i will get there,...but it will TAKE TIME, will take PRACTICE...will take CONFIDENCE..and BALLS to actually relax and allow all of that to happen, naturally, instead of forcing it. My old teacher taught me to force. I may have to get through some imperfect and forced singing until i realize i CAN let go and relax, and learn to get good at trusting the new way. Basically, i have to teach my body to let go of control....in order to achieve control of my voice. Perplexing but true.

It begs the question with food. I'm in severe distress about what to do now with food. "Let go of control...in order to achieve it." What does that mean in terms of my food? Do i implement severe rigidity again? Or is rigidity and discipline exactly what i need??? Do I learn to "let go" and "trust my body"...and just eat what i want and forget about raw??? Or submit to a discipline that I know has worked for me?

Another thing that really has been bothering me is - if i do indeed have the ability to go professional with singing. Everything is against me, my escalating age and weight, but, YES, i have the voice, no doubt. But can i control it or learn to let go of control, learn to MASTER MYSELF in time to really DO something?

There is talk lately about really successful opera singers having a tough exterior and a nervous system that can handle severe stress. I am delicate, i really can't handle much without breaking down, and i have a jelly interior and exterior. One person says something to me negative and i crumble.

I so lack confidence.

Insecurity haunts me.

[I need to meditate more. I need to practice more. I need to want it more and stop complaining.] Yet, i remind myself that many of the best most talented people who have achieved great success in their fields have battled terrible insecurity and addiction.

All of this eating has so much to do with the mental state i am in this week - very, very depressed, very, very hopeless on so many levels. I guess these demons have always been at my door. Finding pleasure and stimulation in food has become a habit. I need to find a new way to cope.

Does the EATING cause the depression and the mental breakdown?? Or does the depression and the mental breakdown cause the eating???

The role I have for February is Lady Macbeth. Do you know Shakespeare? Verdi took Shakespeare's words and turned them into a masterpeice opera. The Lady is a heavy duty role and the music is NOT easy, but i can do it. I did it VERY WELL with my old teacher. Now, CAN i do it with my new one? Maybe if i relax and trust [and practice the new way], i can do it better than i did it before. That is the hope, but i seem to let myself down repeatedly recently. Can i let go and turn the tide? [practice more.]

All of this eating is a huge expression of nerves, sadness, lack of confidence, insecurity, fear, the list goes on and on. Poor singing is also a barometer or how i'm feeling. The soul sings. The sad soul can't sing.

And gaining weight makes me feel like the biggest failure on the planet, too. And not feeling able to get my food back under control makes me feel the same way.

How do i get my food back in control? 811? Raw Gourmet? Vegan? Vegetarian? Eat whatever the hell i want? Legalization? Weight Watchers? OA? What will work? In a state like this, i feel like NOTHING will work. How do i harness my power to succeed?

There are other stresses in my life, too.

I feel a tug of war between Cliff and my mother. He wants me to stay home with him. She wants me there with her. Now Cliff has not been feeling well and is worried about his health and he needs my help with eating better. Why is his eating better my responsibility? Men have become too used to their mother's cooking for them. I have to cook for my mother, too, that's been my responsibility for her, since she doesn't do it for herself. I feel so much co-dependance going on. Where is the line drawn between helping someone and them growing dependant on you? Do i have to take care of everyone? I'm going downhill. I need someone to take care of ME!

[I realize now that Cliff needs my support as his mother is dying.]

My mother is doing better this week and maybe she can let go of me a little and do more on her own? She has been. She's had a solid week of being active. It seems the time for rest is fadig and she's growing into the next stage of recouperation. She is not just lounging around the house, moping, feeling depressed and exhausted anymore. Her mood is much much better and she's able to accomplish more. Bravo, Mommy.

I added another day at work. I want to add more. Work at Arnold's is a pure raw joy and if i'm busy and not bored there, i thrive. Arnold's is such a magical place. Dustin and Meredith www.therawseed.com came from COLORADO to visit! What raw inspirations they are!

I used to be a raw inspiration. I still could be one if i could clear away all of this fog and actually become disciplined and work at it.

I'm thinking about getting a real cooking job somewhere. I CRAVE stimulation. EATING Food has been substituting for WORK stimulation. I need to get busy. Can i get busy MAKING food...and get PAID for it? Or should i just throw myself into my singing and practice at LEAST an hour a day?

Bills, bills, bills. Money is a stress, too. When you don't work and take care of others, you don't bring in the bacon. I have to take care of MYSELF better.

Some days i feel like the scarecrow in the wizard of oz. you know that scene on the yellow brick road where the scarecrow gets an arm pulled off, then a leg, then the other arm? I feel like i'm being pulled by everyone else in so many directions that i don't even know who i am. I feel like i want to throw myself into a job i love and let that help me to do better with myself. Hanging out at the Retirement Village with my parents is not stimulating.

Cliff and i also saw the movie, "The Fighter," which was not a very well made film, but had some really nice life lessons in it that were paralell to the Swan about confidence, about finding your personal power, about practice/rehearsal/discipline/sacrifice, about trust, about questioning who is really supporting you... And....about addiction.

Feeling very much like an addict lately, i could really relate to the crack-addicted brother in the film. A washed up Has-Been, he's constantly promising everyone he's going to make his come back into boxing. And then in the very next scene, he's back at the crack house getting high and missing important appointments that could help him and his brother, an up-and-coming boxer, himself.

Watching the crack-head brother self destruct, i saw myself. Food and binge eating have become my drug again and i'll do anything to get some food, even if it means my life is going down the tubes. My raw inspiration story is cooked. I'm getting fatter and fatter. Everytime i get in and out of the car, it's harder and harder to squeeze myself out and in. Yoga on Thursdays is a joy, but all of this extra weight on me reminds me of when it used to be easy.

This week has just been a wash out. I stopped writing Megan daily. I've not been able to stay on any plan and i'm just eating all of the time, feeling hopeless and frightened for myself, where i will take this. Back to 425? Maybe 450 this time?

I saw where the black swan took it. She had to die in order to achieve artistic perfection and allow her passion to take over her dancing. I don't want to die.

If my life is too stressful that it's causing me to self destruct, then, I have to learn to handle stress better and meditate more or change my life. Get a more alkeline diet. Work the Secret. I can't keep doing what i'm doing. This doesn't work.

I saw the brother in "The Fighter" overcome his crack addiction and go on to success, to creating something wonderful and powerful within himself and for his brother.

What do i want? To eat non stop and kill myself? Or to overcome my demons and MASTER MYSELF and become the person i so want to be - the successful singer, the succcessful former binge eater, the successful formerly obese person...the successful raw foodist?

I wake up and say, "I'm going to only eat bananas for the rest of this week." And then i'm in the kitchen eating bread and butter, like 10 peices of bread and a 1/2 stick of butter.

Try, try again.

Once i do that, i feel excited and rebellious and triumphant in "doing what i want." Wow, isn't that great? After i walk down the block and my legs rub together or i can't fit in the car anymore i realize what i want is sick and not the best thing for me and it confirms what a failure and fuck up i am and i say, 'fuck this" and just eat all day. [There is ALOT to say for DISCIPLINE and PRACTICE in ALL THINGS. If I want raw, i have to practice it.]

In that kind of state, the worse i feel physically, the more i eat. I start to smell and leave the house a mess and litter my car with food wrappers all over and i say to myself, "you are a peice of disgusting shit."

But i know i'm not. I'm the Swan. I just don't always act like it.

After watching both movies yesterday, i recognized myself in both leading roles. I suffer terribly from lack of confidence like Nina and Micky. I keep getting knocked down, like the both of them also. I suffer from depression and maybe some sort of mental illness like Nina, and terrible insecurity like both characters, making success seem elusive.

Success has felt...ELUSIVE.

But both of these movies end on a high note. Nina becomes the swan. She achieves artistic perfection! (But at what cost? Her life.) Her teacher KNEW she had it in her and she proves it to him. "I felt it," she says with her dying breath. And Dicky and Micky win fight after fight.

Triumph. Achievement. Success! They didn't THINK they could do it, but somewhere deeeeep down inside, they KNEW they had it in them.

I know i have it in me.

I just have to act like it. I know it is within me to succeed. "The only person standing in my way is myself. Let go and watch the miracle happen."

xoxo michelle joy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

LIFE TODAY!!!

Hi there, Folks,

Hope you all are well.

I'm having a great week!

I write Megan daily and report everything I eat, my exercise, my struggles, my successes, and funny stories from the day. Megan writes me encouaging emails that i feel so blessed to receive (with funny stories of her own that i soooo enjoy!) as she continues to write her new raw cookbook while residing temporarily in Arizona. (Her cookbook, "Easy to Be Raw" continues to be a big seller at Arnold's Way. http://www.meganelizabeth.com/.) Megan's support means the world to me and provides me with the structure I need. I LOVE to write to her daily! I sometimes write several times a day, and she never discourages it, only encourages me. It's pretty awesome....i'm blessed to have such a good friend, coach, pal, buddy! She also gives me plenty of room to wiggle around and find my own way. I used to weigh myself daily. That was cool with her. Now i'm on a new path with that. And that's cool with her, too. Her easy going style suits me perfectly right now. I ultimately rebeled against the strict dictatorship of Carlene and Dr. D. Flexility is SO much better! And most of all, it's just comforting to know I have Megan in my corner. "We're routing for you here!," she told me at the conclusion of our last call. So simple, but it made a big impact. "We're routing for you!" Megan and her boyfriend, Joey, are routing for little old me? Aw...shucks. THANK YOU! It's a tremendous help and support. I need that. And i'm so entirely grateful for it.

So, what am i eating these days?

I have green smoothies for breakfast on most days. This week, I think one day i had fake "snausages" and toast instead.

I usually have some sort of a snack before lunch. Today it was a few fingerfuls of raw cashew pate. Yesterday, it was oatmeal.

For lunch, i've been wanting something cooked vegan, so that's what i do. Today i had rice vermicelli noodles with raw veggies and summer rolls with tofu. Yesterday i had rice vermicelli noodles again with veggies and a vegetable spring roll.

I usually get hungry again in between and will snack on clementines or grapes. Today I had a vegan hot chocolate.

For dinner, it's cooked vegan again. Today i had steamed tofu with mixed veggies at the local chinese place. Yesterday, I had a fake bologna sandwhich on whole wheat bread with fresh veggies.

And, before I go to bed, i'm hungry again and enjoy something fruity. Sometimes i'll have like 5 clementines. Tonight i had a thick smoothie of banana and berries. The night before i had a thick smoothie of frozen peaches, bananas and berries. I like to eat these with a spoon.

I eat when i get hungry these days, instead of eating compulsively. I tend to have 3 meals and 3 snacks.

I meditate now in the mornings and throughout the day. The meditating is doing WONDERS for me.

The meditation is an observation exercise i learned at http://www.fhu.com/, that i've known and practiced and fallen off and back into and back off of for YEARS. I'm back on...and it WORKS when i WORK it!

How does it work? It's pretty amazing. Here is an awesome explanation. Especially read the part below that describes how life is like being at a movie... http://www.fhu.com/meditation.html

Doing the meditation, my ego takes a back seat and all of a sudden, seemingly without effort, I'm doing what I "should." It's quite miraculous.

Hey, good news, I'm also exercising daily! Today i swam and water walked for a half hour at the gym. Yesterday, i worked out for 30 mins on the eliptical trainer at the clubhouse here in my parents' community. Other days I walk for 20-40 minutes around the neighborhood while reading a fabulous crime novel.

Cliff and I also jump on the mini Needok trampoline daily. We set it up at my parents, in the basement, in front of the fish tank, and the fish are having so much fun watching us bounce around like idiots, having fun! I'm up to 4 minutes a day!

Binge eating is GREATLY diminished. How is THAT for new? I think i had trouble last week. This week is free and clear. Food doesn't cause binge eating. Otherwise I'd be binge eating today. It's NOT the food. I needed to figure this out.

I don't weigh myself anymore. I'm somewhere in the 330's. Maybe i'm in the 320s? I've decided to let my BEHAVIOR determine my mood/self worth...instead of my WEIGHT for today. This way, i feel good all of the time, because my behavior has been really commendable. For an out-of-control binge eater like me, having self control feels frickin' unbelievable.

I find if I start my day with my meditation, everything falls into place and I WANT to do the right thing. And you know what? When you do good things, you feel better and you want to do good things. Exercise FEELS good. You start to WANT to feel good.

My raw days are coming up again! Tomorrow and Friday I work at Arnold's Way, so they will be my 2 raw days again this week. Yay!

Tomorrow night, I start a weekly yoga class at 7pm after work - that's a new fun thing. I haven't done yoga in MONTHS and MONTHS. It will feel good to stretch out again!!! I'm taking the class with my high school girlfriend, so it will be a social visit, too! I'll kill 2 birds with one stone!

And, Friday night, there is a 811 Buffet at Arnold's Way, being prepared by a wonderful well known vegan chef named Wendy Landiak, who once owned and operated a very popular vegetarian restaurant in Emmaus, PA, called BALASIA. Here is a nice article on Wendy. http://www.balasia.net/natawake.html .

Tomorrow's raw dinner promises to be something special. Wendy, who is not a raw chef, will be one for the night, and will prepare everything 811 style, using no salt, little fat (avocado, nuts), and raw fruits and vegetables only. The real kicker will be to notice how incredibly well we all feel AFTER eating such a light and healthy meal!!

I acknowledge fully that my weight was MUCH MUCH better when i was 100% raw.

I look at myself in the mirror today and see a different me than the one I became accustomed to seeing in the mirror everyday for over 3 years. BUT...this is where i am today and I accept it. I have to be HERE. Self LOVE will show me the way back. I once said it, and i'll say it again, "You can't hate yourself into eating bananas." It won't last. I'd just gain the weight back. Everything has to eminate from self love, from wanting to FEEL good. Looking good is no reason to do something. It's not strong enough motivation. And it's all EGO. The motivation has to come from deep within. I'll get there!

To elaborate on that idea, I've realized that when i use "effort" and "ego" to accomplish something like dieting, losing weight, it always backfires, and i end up binge eating anyway out of frustration because the success is not overnight. SO WHY BOTHER???

Slow and steady is my motto these days. Consistent good behavior brought about by me relinquishing control to my HIGHER POWER by meditating, and with the supporive gently guiding friendship of Megan are controlling me today instead of food compulsions. AWESOME!

As for my weight, I'm much more concerned with ceasing binge eating than with dieting today. What helps me to stop it is allowing myself everything i want within reason. The point is i'm NOT dieting. I've eaten fried plantains and fried spring roll this week. The nice part is, the more and more I fall into a routine and I drink smoothies for breakfast and snacks and eat fruit between meals, that's what i want! The more I do it, the more i want to do it!

The unfortunate part is, the more i eat fake wheatmeat and bread and noodles, that becomes what i want, too, for lunch and dinner. For today, i simply enjoy it and have gratitude that i'm not binge eating. I want to allow it to drop away in it's own time. Force doesn't work. Does it work for you? In the long run, it NEVER works.

The meditation also helps incredibly with self control around food. I notice that i am alot calmer around food. I just make better choices. I'm alot more reasonable. And don't just pick up food because i "want" it. Something else is controlling me besides that old-binge-me i became again. This "better" me is being reborn. I feel like that old me at the raw retreat that walked miles and miles a day...not because i HAD to, but because i enjoyed it...and wanted to!

My energy is...ehhh, okay, good. But not great.

I remember on raw experiencing incredible surges of energy and blissful happiness. I feel happy today and like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, which i am grateful for, but i don't get surges of energy. I usually nap daily actually on cooked now, and now that i'm exercising.

2 days of raw this week will be examined. How do i feel? Do i have energy? Could i continue for a 3rd day into saturday? Pure Raw Joy will eventually win out.....if it's best for me!

xoxo michelle joy

Saturday, December 4, 2010

TWO MORE DAYS OF RAW JOY!!


Hi Folks,

I feel a new energy, a new love, a new wonderful something growing in me. I had two full days of raw and working at Arnold's Way. I have the curious feeling that what i've been looking for has been right under my nose all along. Megan http://www.meganelizabeth.com/ is my daily confidant, my daily encouraging buddy. She listens. She encourages. I've started a new relationship with God again, too.

Here are some spiritual insights and eating insights i have been having:

  • Self control is a gift of the Spirit - I prayed and desired it, and it came, miraculously. It's amazing! It's not the FOOD that gives us self control, it's the Spirit!
  • Raw food can seriously help with self control, but self control doesn't come from it. Self control comes from love, belief, faith, connection to a higher power.
  • Out of control eating can be stopped by recognizing it and asking the Spirit for help. God provides amazingly when I let Him! Such wonderful timing He has, it has amazed me the last two days and I have been filled with gratitude!
  • My attitude and the openness of my heart have everything to do with how well I do with food or don't!
  • Raw food is energizing! It feels wonderful to feel energized!
  • (On a good day when the Spirit is in control) Cooked vegan food is also fabulous and energizing in it's own way. It's a choice I make. I can choose to enjoy it with the right attitude!
  • Raw food is always there for me to go light, clean out, feel renewed and open the channels for the Spirit! I can trust God to lead me!
  • I feel my ENERGY moving and it feels so much better than walking around like a dead huge zombie in pain when i binge eat and turn from God. The channels are closed to energy, to Spirit, to life....
  • Walking with the Spirit and paying attention to the world and my friends and loved ones and myself, not being "caught up" in my emotions or internal drama or reactions, but detatching from that and letting it go (putting it all in God's hands) and switching my focus OUT while gently watching and observing myself and others......is such a much better way to live.
  • When I am not self focused and self absorbed like i usually am, I can respond to my and other's pains, needs, wants, true desires.
  • The meditation exercise I practice works when i work it!!! I learned it at The Foundation of Human Understanding: http://www.fhu.com/ . Paying attention and observing myself and others has NO JUDGEMENT in it. Only LOVE. It is the ONLY way!
  • Staying close to God and choosing raw are like any new practices - they need support to thrive, they need attention and focus and constant encouragement!

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, November 29, 2010

LET GO, LET GOD! AN UPDATE ON MY NEW PLAN OVER THE LAST FEW WEEKS

Hi Folks,

How ya'll doin'? Did you have a good Thanksgiving? I had Tofurky, it was yum!

How do you like my little naked man here, the pied piper! I searched under "God" and he came up. I liked his little pecker so i kept him!

I'm doing well on my plan with Megan. It's turned out to be an all vegan plan with green smoothies for breakfast and lots of fruit snacks on my best days. Other days, like this morning, I ate a cooked breakfast. It was so cold, 25 degrees when we awoke, and the bananas were STILL green from the cold, that we opted for oatmeal and whole wheat toast with vegan hot chocolate for breakfast. It was delish and I remind myself that ANY meal is good as long as i don't binge.

In terms of health, however, I acknowlede that green smoothies for breakfast are optimal.

I'd thought, well, maybe i'll have a salad for lunch, then, but we went to vietnamese. And I enjoy the rice noodles, so i did that, and enjoyed them. Which is important to me. Letting go of guilt and trying to accept what is and not beat myself up but try to aim for overall progress is my motto these days. Sometimes it's just as cleansing as a green smoothie to have an attitude filled with love and acceptance. Again, as long as i don't binge, i feel like a success.

I'm not sure if I am indeed one, but i feel like it. Mind over matter.

There is something to be said for the journey I am on.

My friend Meredith asked one day so matter of factly it actually gave the journey validity, "Are you still working on legalizing and inner balance?" There is something to be said for this journey. I don't know of other raw foodists were were obese who lost all of their weight who were also former binge eaters. All of the obese people I know that went raw and lost all of their weight were not binge eaters. Maybe this is just a STEP in my journey?

I know eventually, i will get there.


I had a few bad days when i went off totally, back to the cheese and the shrimp and binge eating non stop, but thank God, i've been able to pull myself back together.

Megan is very encouraging! I love my little Megan-dearheart. She lets me write to her as much as i want, and you know what? I really love it. It helps me. I even check in a few times a day sometimes. She even lets me send her really long letters.

Last week during the binging, i did some writing, which revealed I was feeling a lot of shame. This seems to be a theme for me, shame, feeling ashamed. Perhaps that is what precipitates binge eating for me? But i use the binge eating to express it.

I'll try to really focus in and if i feel shame coming on, allow myself to express it and acknowledge it, without having to binge eat as a means of expressing it.

I'm going to try not to focus on weight too much, too. It is what it is. Weighing myself daily when the scale goes down is fun, but when it doesn't go down, it makes me crazy in the head. Weighing myself and being discouraged precipitated the last binge, "Why am I working so hard for that number?" What good did a binge do? After the binge, i'm even heavier that before I even weighed myself.

It dawned on me to do a week-long banana feast or a smoothie feast to get the extra weight off, but i couldn't make it happen. Is it a good thing or a bad thing i couldn't do it? I don't know anymore. I just had to accept. And move on. And that's where i'm at.

Nevertheless, my conscience is telling me I was better on raw. My body is telling me some things I find worrisome and discouraging. While i so enjoy eating, say, regular spaghetti and whole wheat bread and all of these yummy non-raw things today without needing to binge eat as a reaction, I'm fearing a little what they are doing to my body. I'm feeling symptoms in my body that frighten me, like stiffness in the joints. I don't know, maybe i'm just stiff? Or maybe it's because i'm not raw anymore.

I guess since i am not a raw foodist anymore, i won't have the tremendous health benefits that raw foodists, do, like limber joints, like abounding energy, and delaying menopause. I'd always dreamed of having a child someday and hoped I'd be fertile for a good long time due to raw foodism. Maybe now i'll never have a baby.

I'd turned to raw food to stop binge eating, to lose weight, and to re-grow my thinning hair. The hair never regrew. (Neither did Dr. D's. He's bald). I did lose weight and kept it off miraculously for 3 years, wow, I never did before, but i didn't lose it all. I was still binge eating.

My weight was undeniably MUCH better on raw. But at a certain point, i stopped losing. I routinely ate gourmet raw non stop. I maintained my weight and gained 20-30+ lbs, but it nver went above that.

I never lost anymore signigicant weight until i found 811.

But, then i got frustrated that i had to go so fat free, so gourmet free, so salt free to lose weight. Then i started eating beans (less fat than nuts) and then I went nuts and lost it all. At least now the FEAR of cooked food "causing binges" is gone. I don't think it "causes" binges or everyone would be binge eating.

Two other raw foodists i know, men, have lost all of their weight on gourmet raw. How do they do it? One exercises non stop. The other does not exercise at all. They're not binge eaters. They may not even calorically eat that much.

Angela Stokes has lost all of her weight, but she barely EATS anything at all anymore. She drinks juice mostly.

I got frustrated ultimately from 811. I never learned how to make it work for me as I'd hoped. That's what Megan is hoping to nudge me towards.

Yesterday I got kinda scared that I've lost my taste for raw. I was cleaning out the cabinets and came across bag after bag of raw snack chips, cookies, crackers. All of them had gone soggy and stale. So i threw them out. I could have re-dried them to perk them up, but they didn't appeal to me anymore. Because they were old? Or because they were raw? Maybe it's just because they were old??

Sometimes i'm happy to be just like everyone else now when it comes to food. It's freeing - off the cuff - to just end up at the local vietnamese place for lunch - rice noodles and tofu, instead of having a carry around a bag of bananas or constantly worry about what i'm going to eat, or spend a million dollars at All The Way Live. I never made it out of there with a bill under 80$. Today, lunch was 15$, how sensible.

On the other hand, now i'll just be like everyone else with diabetes and heart disease and rhemetoid arthritis.

And my weight is obviously not as GOOD as it was on raw.

Maybe i'm completely deluded and offbase, but to me, the most important thing today is that i am controlling my eating (except for those few bad days preceeding thanksgiving). It's been about 4 weeks with Megan, and maybe i haven't lost a million pounds, but it's a great feeling to just be eating normal meals and not be out of control, MOST of the time.

I've been batting around the idea of alkeline vs. acid and wondering if too much acid-causing foods precipitate binges. Any thoughts on that? I'd love to hear your experience with binge eating and how it relates to acid/alkeline.

I've also been aware the last few days of my feelings and impulses around food. I sometimes feel inexplicable guilt after eating, then ask myself to let it go, and I do. I know when i start feeling guilty again a binge is imminent. When foods become "good" or "bad" for me, it can set me off. Jan asked me if this was going to happen around non-vegan foods, being that Megan wants me to eat Vegan. I suppose that's a possibility, but I try to view the vegan thing as a CHOICE, not a command. Megan is easy going and she constantly reminds me, 'I'm not going to yell at you..." It seems to help. Less "you must do this" produces less need to rebel.

I also feel drives to eat fake bologna sandwhiches in the middle of the night when i can't sleep, but thank God, i've been able to say 'No' to that impulse, too. I eat grapes instead.

Emotionally, it's been a tough week, and i have to DO something to release the tension, frustration, anger....instead of eating... Today i had to just call my mother's dr i was so frustrated. In fact, both my mom and Cliff's mom are sick again, and it's discouraging. How much can we do? We run from one to the other, i make meals for Cliff's mom she used to love and now turns her nose up at. Her urinary tract infection is back for the 3rd time and it decreases her appetite and makes her want to sleep. "Come on, mom, wake up, eat." It's draining. My mother started herself on anti-biotics because she thought it would stop her diarreah, when she didn't even know the cause of the diarreah yet. When i spoke to the dr he said she shouldn't have done that - now they couldn't test the stool to see what the cause was. My mother is a pill popper. I keep harping on her about how the anti-biotics are killing her digestion. "Really. i didn't know that." How many times have i told her....

Sometimes, i just feel like i'm having a nervous breakdown.

The more involved you become with your parents, if they're not well, the more frustration you face. If you don't get involved, you don't feel the frustration. Plenty of people have aging parents, but we're there daily and in the midst of it all and feeling it. It's TOUGH, but we've made the choice to be involved. I don't know how people who have children AND aging sick parents who they are involved with cope, let alone have jobs, and they keep the house clean and food on the table. I don't know HOW they do it.

I guess they don't have a blog.

I have to remember to meditate more and think of God more and turn things over to Him more. HE knows better than i do what's best for me (diet) and will lead me if i let him, if i listen, if i first ask and if i'm open, and willing to take direction, which i am, i think, sometimes. Hell, i know i'm stubborn and bullheaded, but i'm not that bad, am i? I'm just trying to go with the flow, go with my desires and not feel BAD about them.

But i'm noticing, asking, allowing and waiting for the prompting to go further with raw. It really does have to be driven by an internal motivation for it to stick and not just be another "diet" I go off of.

And HE will watch over our parents, or at least give us peace that God's will will be done, if we remember to turn everthing over to Him.

Let go, let GOD. Let go, let LOVE.

It's a good thing. A good practice. And, I know that eventually, if i do that, everything will work itself out.

xoxo michelle joy

Saturday, November 27, 2010

MY NEW FAVORITE GREEN SMOOTHIE!


'ROCK CELERY' 'N CELERY SMOOTHIE
1 handful ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY or more, to taste
2 stalks of CELERY or more, chopped, with CELERY LEAVES
4-5 BANANAS, frozen if desired
FILTERED WATER
(AGAVE or DATES to taste - optional)

Parsley is also known as "Rock Celery". Both Parsley and Celery come from the same family! One day I started adding celery to my green smoothies and I haven't stopped since! It is so refreshing! By far, this is my favorite green smoothie! The combination of celery AND parsley is amazingly REFRESHING! Chopping the celery helps the fibers not to twist around your blender blade. Add all ingredients to blender and blend thoroughly. I enjoy this slightly salty and bitter green smoothie without any sweeteners. Enjoy!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT CELERY


Celery is from the same family with parsley and fennel, the Umbelliferae family.

Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.

Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing or using in smoothies, aiding bowel movements.

The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption, in fact is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery, unlike table salt (iodised sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure.

While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking.

Celery has always been associated with lowering of blood pressure.

Recent studies have shown that celery might also be effective in combating cancer.

Neutralizes Acidity: The important minerals in celery and celery juice effectively balance the body's blood pH, neutralizing acidity.

Replaces Electrolytes: Celery juice is the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich minerals.

Cancer Fighting: Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. Among them are the acetylenics that have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. Phenolic acids which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells. And coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.

Lowers Cholesterol: This humble pale juice has been shown to effectively and significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Prevents colon and stomach cancer: The phytochemical coumarins prevent the formation and development of colon and stomach cancers.

Alleviates constipation: The natural laxative effect of celery helps to relieve constipation. It also helps relax nerves that have been overworked by man-made laxatives.

Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of celery juice two or three times a day, between meals. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.

Diuretic: The potassium and sodium in celery juice helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, making it an important help to rid the body of excess fluid.

Aids Inflammation: The polyacetylene in celery is an amazing relief for all inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.

Promotes Healthy Kidney function: Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones.

Lower blood pressure: Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally. To be effective, drink the juice for one week, stop for three weeks, and start over.

Calms Nervous system: The organic alkaline minerals in celery juice has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a wonderful drink for insomniacs.

Weight loss: Drink celery juice frequently throughout the day. It helps curb your cravings for sweets and rich food.

Urinary and Gall stones: The diuretic effect of celery juice also aids the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones.

You can expect many more healing benefits from celery juice as you consume its natural sodium. Our bodies lack and have been deprived of natural salt.

CELERY TIPS:
Choose green celery where possible for its chlorophyll. The whiter the celery, the less chlorophyll it contains. Ensure that the ribs are still firm, not limp. To store in the fridge, wrap celery in a sealed container or wrap in a plastic bag or a damp cloth.

Do not leave it at room temperature for too long as it tends to wilt quickly. If your celery has wilted, sprinkle it with a little water and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. It will regain its crispness.

CAUTION WITH CELERY:
Celery is such a succulent plant that it produces its own "pesticide" to protect itself from fungi. This protective layer is called psoralens which although protects the celery, may not go down so well with some people. If you begin having skin problems after eating celery, it might mean that you have some sensitivity to psoralens.

Some people with low blood pressure complain that celery makes their blood pressure even lower, so you might want to avoid celery if you have low blood pressure. Listen to your body when you take celery.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PARSLEY


Parsley (Petroselinum crispum), the world's most popular culinary herb is also known as “rock celery” and belongs to the Umbelliferae family of plants. Parsley is one of the world's seven most potent disease-fighting spices which also include Ginger, Oregano, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Sage, and Red chili peppers. Parsley grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year. It is a biennial plant which means that it produces seeds during its second year of production and will reseed itself if you let it.

While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish that accompanies restaurant meals.

Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was originally used as a medicinal plant (see below) prior to being consumed as a food. Ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. While it is uncertain when and where parsley began to be consumed as a seasoning, historians think it may be sometime during the Middle Ages in Europe. Some historians credit Charlemagne with its popularization as he had it grown on his estates.

Parsley’s Many Therapeutic Health Benefits Include Its Use For:
* Anemia: Parsley builds up the blood because it is high in iron. The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron.

* Antioxidant: Parsley increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood.

* Bactericidal: Parsley kills bacteria.

* Bad breath: Parsley deoderizes breath. Chew on it after eating.

* Baldness: Believe it or not, men even scrubbed parsley onto their scalps to cure baldness—which doesn’t work.

* Blood purifier

* Blood vessel rejuvenation: Parsley maintains elasticity of blood vessels, and helps to repair bruises.

* Diarrhea is greatly helped by drinking parsley tea.

* Digestion: Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage. Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.

* Dissolves cholesterol within the veins

* Diuretic: Parsley acts as a diuretic and blood vessel strengthener

* Ear health: Parsley is effective in treating deafness and ear infections.

* Fatigue: Parsley is high in iron so helps repair and provides components for better blood cells.

* Gallstones: Parsley helps dissolve them.

* Glandular support of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.

* Gout

* Hormonal support: In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus. Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) can often improve.

* Hormone balancing is achieved through the volatile fatty acids contained in parsley.

* Immune booster: The high vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content render parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food. Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.

* Inhibits tumor formation: Parsley inhibits tumor formation, particularly in the lungs.

* Insect bites: Rub on to relieve the swelling and itch.

* Jaundice

* Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.

* Liver congestion: Parsley enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.

* Menstrual irregularity: Parsley helps to make the cycles regular by the presence of apiol which is a constituent of the female sex hormone estrogen.

* Menstrual pain

* Night blindness: Bad eyesight is a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Parsley packs in the Vitamin A.

* Rheumatism

* Spleen strengthening: The parsley root in particular strengthens the spleen, and can, therefore, treat malabsorption.

* Stamina and Resistance to Infection: Stamina loss and low resistance to infection point to a sluggish liver. Taking parsley can help clear up blood deficiencies, fatigue, a pale complexion and poor nails, dizzy spells, anemia and mineral depletion.

* Stomach problems

* Strengthens loose teeth: In the Middle Ages parsley was used for many conditions including 'fastening teeth' (Scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, makes the gums spongy and the teeth loose.)

* Uterine tonic

* Weight loss benefits from being a diuretic

Nutritional Benefits of Parsley:
Parsley
is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.

Beta carotene is used for protein assimilation. This nutrient benefits the liver and protects the lungs and colon. Beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the "anti-infective vitamin."

Parsley is abundant in chlorophyll, thus purifying and inhibiting the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Chlorophyll from parsley is slightly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which acts to enhance immune response and to relieve mucus congestion, sinusitis and other ‘damp’ conditions. Chlorophyll, high in oxygen, also suppresses viruses and helps the lungs to discharge residues from environmental pollution.

Essential Fatty Acids: Parsley is a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid that is too frequently deficient in today’s diets.

Fluorine is an important nutritional component abundantly found in parsley. Fluorine has an entirely different molecular structure from chemically-produced fluoride. Tooth decay results from a shortage of fluorine, not fluoride. It is the combination of calcium and fluorine which creates a very hard protective surface on teeth and bones. Fluorine also protects the body from infectious invasion, germs and viruses.

Folic Acid, one of the most important B vitamins, but one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is to convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells--the colon, and in women, the cervix.

Iron: The iron content of parsley is exceptional with 5.5mg per100g (4oz). A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements. Plus, parsley has the vitamin C your body needs to absorb that iron.

Protein: Parsley is made up of 20% protein. (About the same as mushrooms.)

Vitamin B12: Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.

Vitamin K: Getting at least 100 micrograms of Vitamin K a day can drastically cut your risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. Parsley is loaded with vitamin K (180 mcg per 1/2 cup). Cooking parsley nearly doubles its Vitamin K.

Vitamin C: Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 166mg per 100g (4oz). This is three times as much as oranges. Flavonoids, which make up the Vitamin C molecule, maintain blood cell membranes, and act as an antioxidant helper.

Volatile oil components - including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Parsley's volatile oils, particularly myristicin, have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. It acts as an antioxidant that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators).

Parsley also contains calcium (245mg per 100g), phosphorus, potassium (1000mg per 4 oz), manganese (2.7mg per 100g), inositol, and sulphur.

How to Use Parsley:
Top off your sandwiches with it, include it in your salad greens, put it in Tabbouli or toss it into simmering soups, stews and sauces.

Parsley juice, as an herbal drink, is quite powerful and is usually taken in quantities of about 2 fl oz (50ml) three times a day and is best mixed with other juices. It is most effective to juice parsley in between other vegetables as the juice is heavy and thick and doesn’t move through some juicers very readily.

Types of Parsley:
The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. They are both related to celery. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) that is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock. Chinese parsley, is actually cilantro.

How to Pick and Care for Parsley:
Whenever possible, choose fresh, dark green, organically grown parsley that looks fresh and crisp over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Avoid bunches that have wilted or yellowed leaves indicating over-mature or damaged produce.

Parsley can be stored loosely wrapped in a damp cloth or plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week. Wash just before using. If the parsley wilts, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before putting it back in the refrigerator.

The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and plunge it up and down like you would a toilet plunger. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.

If you have excess flat-leaved parsley, you can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. Pre-chop (both varieties) and place it on a cookie sheet on top of the refrigerator where it is warm. Stir it occasionally to allow consistent drying. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.

Some feel the curly leaved variety is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first thawing.

So, drink my new favorite green smoothie...and you will receive LOTS and LOTS of health benefits! Bon App├ętit!

xoxo michelle joy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2 RAW DAYS!

TWO DAYS OF RAW

THE RAW CHEF

Dear Megan,

I wish you were at Arnold's Way tonight! I made Thanksgiving potluck stuff, o m g, i wish you could taste it, I'm so excited! I hope the dishes last until sat night...it's Thursday!!! I was so exhausted i could only make 6 dishes out of the 10, someone will have to make the other 4.

I made the mashed "potatoes," like i usually do with cauliflower and cashew, but i jacked them up a bit with cayenne, garlic and onion, and added nutritional yeast this time, yum!

I also made a mushroom gravy with nama shoyu and thyme and garlic, which i was happy with, mmm...!

I made this most frickin unbelievable cranberry relish sauce which will probably be separated and dead by Saturday, uy, but it was so good! Arnold only had about 1 cup of cranberries frozen, so put them in the Cuisinart, added about a cup and a half of frozen pineapple, cinnamon, a slice of ginger, fresh squeezed orange juice, orange rind, a spinkle of celtic salt, agave, and S bladed the whole thing up. OMG! It is so delish, i almost died. Everyone who tasted it was like, OMG!!!

The other frickin unreal thing i made i'm so excited about!!! You know everyone always makes KALE salad??? We didn't have enough, so i figured, 'why not collards!!!!!?' I made "Gramma's Creamy Collards!!!" I shredded the collards really thin by hand and made a white sauce - nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic, onion, cashew, salt, agave, lemon and raw vinegar, mmm! It was such a thick sauce, it turned out really to be a mayonaise! The thick mayo made the shredded collards all stick together, but when you tasted it, it tasted like like a CREAM SAUCE, CREAMED COLLARDS! Incredible! It will probably be brown and runny by sat, though!!!!!

The other thing i'm excited about is the creamed sweet "potatoes" I made from carrot, maple syrup, cashew, pumpkin pie spices, ginger, orange peel, coconut oil and celtic salt. SO YUM!

OH MY GOD, I also made STUFFING!!! I took about 20 slices of well seasoned assorted raw bread slices and put them in the cuisinart with some water, onion, celery, carrot, olive oil, salt, agave, a little lemon juice, thyme, pepper, lots of pecans, and pulse smooshed it up. I added more handchopped vegetables and whole pecans to the mix and it really LOOKED like stuffing! And tasted REALLY GOOD!! Tim tasted it and said, "Wow, you really captured something very thanksgivingy there!" We didn't have any fresh sage so tomorrow someone is going to add fresh sage for me. What is stuffing without fresh sage??? Fennel would be nice, too, make it taste a little sausagey.

Ahhh, making raw food is FUN...especially with the inspiration of a holiday...!!!

I was so tired after work, i going to write you about my day tomorrow because i was so zonked, but i guess i got my second wind! This morning i had a pear, then some raw cereal, just a handful. It was an all raw day, yay, but high fat and high salt and lots of tasting and no defined meals. I have a hard time at work, i really do. Anyway, i got to ARnolds and had a big green smoothie with kale and celery, yum, then i was hungry already and had a pack of raw toona on a slice of raw bread. Then, really the whole day i was tasting stuff I was making. I also recall snacking on 1/2 raw burger, a few salty walnuts, a few more slices of bread, leftover blenderized soup, etc.. I have a hard time at work not picking.

And i feel discouraged about it because when i eat the salty stuff, i gain.

I weighed this morning back down to 12 lb loss. I had gained 2.5 lbs, but i think it was water retention from the wheatmeat, then lost it after eating beans and veggies with no additional salt. Canned beans are already salted, but i always rinse them. They are tasty enough as is.

Anyway, i was discouraged again today because my bowels have not been working as good as they had been. Isn't it fun to talk about poop? But finally i made my 2nd poop late in the afternoon. i've really been making less poops the last few days. Maybe it's all of the walking and I'm dehydrated and don't realize it? Come to think of it, i don't pee much. Dr. graham used to say normal should be 10x in 24 hours. I probably went twice today during the day. I'm so prone to water weight and holding water.

I decided to start up my intake of Diatomaceous earth again. Maybe that will kick my bowels into action again and help with gas i get from beans!!! It does seem to help me digest. And i could take the Betaine like i used to. That's a big help.

When i got home, zonked, i was hungry curiously enough and had 3 oranges and now i'm drinking a thick mango blueberry banana "whip" (i make it in the blender) with agave.

FRIDAY tomorrow will be week 3, can you believe it??? Uy, i probably gained today again. Water weight. Raw pickles. I had to tell myself more than once today, "It's a lifestyle, not a diet." If i keep walking and eating healthy there is NO WAY i can't lose weight EVENTUALLY. Maybe i'll have to eat less or less fat or less salt or whatever, but it will eventually come off if i make overall lifestyle changes.

Guess what? My hour walk I was so proud of wasn't an hour after all, because this morning, i actually timed myself and i was like, "wuh???" It was a 45 mins walk. So what! I haven't been timing, just guestimating. Anyway, so what, I'm still doing it! I bring my book and love it! I read and walk!

I do get a little nuts sometimes in the head with my weight. I just KNOW that i COULD lose 30 lbs in a week doing all bananas. I sometimes think of that and get a little discouraged, but then i think, "But can YOU maintain that?" and i really can't, nor do i want to.

Hey, so today was an all raw day and tomorrow Talia is having a Bday party at Arnold's. I'm making a chocolate pie. I'm bored with that idea. I hope i can come up with some sort of inspiration.

I want to make tomorrow an all raw day, too, and take advantage of the Bday party dinner being raw. If i keep my breakfast a smoothie as it has been, and dinner is raw, i'll just have to make myself a raw lunch at home, and there's day 2 of raw!

Raw is a little HARD because i like the high fat stuff and the salty stuff.

Wish you were here.

xoxo mich

~ ~ ~

GETTING READY FOR TALIA'S BIRTHDAY PARTY

Dear Megan,

Missing you tonight. Talia's Bday is at Arnolds tonight. I made a pie that i am DYING for you to taste!!! It has cherry chocolate LIQUOR in it!!!! That's, uh, not raw, and I don't know if any of the stricty's will eat it, but it is divine!!! It's called "Deep Dish Black Forrest Cherry Cordial Pie"!!! I marinated the cherries in chocolate cherry cordial!!!

"DEEP DISH BLACK FORREST CHERRY CORDIAL PIE"
* nut date crust with a hint of orange rind, delish
* layer of choco avocado mouse, very rich and chocolatey
* layer of white vanilla cashew cream, yum
* topped with sweet black cherries marinated in agave and Chocolate Cherry Cordial, ooh la la!!!

I"m SOOO excited! I hope it's good!!!

So, today was my 2nd raw day!!! But guess what i ate for bfast???? TASTE TESTS of FATTY FAT FAT choc cherry pie. Nothing like a big bowl of FAT for breakfast!!! I actually only had tastes, about 8 spoonful tastes....

Then i drank water the rest of the day and bypassed hunger, so i'm HUNGRY for tonight and can have a good time!!

Heading to Talia's party soon. Hopping in the shower now. Going to the DOG SHOW with Cliff tomorrow!

BIG HUGS! xoxo michelle

~ ~ ~

TALIA'S RAW BIRTHDAY PARTY

Hi Bites,

Did you hear me yelling hello to you on the phone with the whole crowd tonight at ARnolds?? It was fun at Talias party, but you were definitely MISSED!!!

They loved my pie and devoured it! Arnold called it decadent! I put Hannukah candles in it and we all sang Happy Birthday to Talia! P.S. The cordial laden cherry juice leaked in the bag and the pie looked ugly when i unveiled it from the car ride!!! Arrrg! Note to self: use guar gum or some kind of thickener for the cherry juice next time, and use coconut oil in the white sauce to harden it up! The top layers were too loose... It was RICH but yummy! This pie has real promise, but needs some tweeking...!

Talia made yummy raw chicken salad and fabulous "NORITO" crackers from corn and sunflower seeds, and a cake that tasted like fig newtons, mmmm! Joan made an amazing raw sauerkraut. Carol made the most amazing cheesecake pie with blueberry topping. Nizar made the most incredible guacamole with THICK CHUNKY veggies in it and no salt! You didn't even MISS it! The food was exceptional!

I was raw all day, yay, but had fatty stuff tonight, hard to avoid at a potluck, not that i tried, i rather looked forward to it, but i didn't overdo it!!! My attitude about fatty raw food has changed. I accept it for what it is. Half of the 80-10-10ers do the fruit thing and abstain, and the other half bash fat all night and then can't stop eating it and pig out and blame the fat. I was happy to have what felt like a balanced approach. It seemed to work for me. I ate when i was hungry, enjoyed what i wanted, and stopped when i had enough. 2 plates was enough. I did good! No thirds!!!

I didn't eat all day except a little fresh orange and this morning tasting the pie contents.

You know, i have the WORST sore throat!! I'm sick! I can't believe it! Either it is a reaction to being raw for two days and my body is "ready" for a cleansing. Or the 2 raw days were the FATTIEST days i have had in TWO weeks and my body is saying NO MORE FAT! OR it's just a reaction from the D.E. I haven't taken it in a while and i took a whole heaping Tbsp, which is too much to start up again with.

It's hard to tell what our bodies are telling us, why we're feeling how we're feeling.

Arnold suggested green smoothies and light tomorrow.

Something i was thinking about in terms of raw - you know i NEVER go to the potluck or to these parties and it was SO NICE! Why don't i go? I'm so glad i did! I'm thinking that being raw is something like being Christian. You keep having to FEED the RAW spirit. I need to keep more in the loop with raw potlucks, events, etc... They help to keep one motivated. wow!

Dorinda was there tonight. I was feeling her creamy soft skin all night. I have NEVER felt such soft skin in my life. All from her soap that she makes from french fry oil. She has skin SOFTER than a babies bottom and it is quite remarkable. I said, "Does your husband just want to feel you all night?" She answered, quite matter of factly, "yes." I bought 2 bars of her fabulous soap last night. I freely advertise Dorinda's soap because i just LOVE IT!! Check out her website: http://www.washtyme.com/

Mostly everyone is going to hear Doug Graham talk tomorrow in Kinzers, PA. I am not going. I'd thought about it, but i still owe him money and, well, i can't pay him right now, so i don't even want to open that can of worms.

Arnold is running a sale at Arnolds Way this coming WED NOV 24th and FRI NOV 26th - 20% off of everything in the store and cafe, excluding equipment. We made flyers tonight at the party.

Everyone was also making plans to drive to NYC for a raw fruitarian dinner that a friend of Talia's is hosting. I can't go because i'm making TURKEY for my family!!! Maybe i'll get a TOFURKY for myself!!!

Everyone said i looked pretty and looked good tonight. Must be the 2 weeks of daily GREEN SMOOTHIES!!!

Missed you, xoxo michelle


xoxo michelle joy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

THE BEAUTY OF DISCOVERING AUTONOMY!

Tuesday, Nov 17, 2010
Amended Food

Dessert:
7 social tea bisquits (vegan low fat cookie) 140 cals
1 cup tea

Sn: 2 apples and water

After dinner last night, I was hungry, even though i recognize i'm having these big meals. Maybe it's all in my head, but i was hungry. I really wanted some kind of cookie, something sweet and crunchy. My mom has these plain cookies called "Social Tea Bisquits" which have no dairy and are low fat and low cal. (7) cookies are a serving at 140 cals which sounds reasonable, so i enjoyed 7 with tea and it was an "Ahhhh, yum" moment.

A part of me feels guilty for eating cookies.

Another part of me feels entitled as any other person to have a few cookies every once in a while and enjoy them.

I decided to listen to the second voice.

I keep reminding myself that this plan is not temporary. It's not a quick fix diet. It's a LIFESTYLE.

This outlook really seems to be working for keeping the binge eating at bay.

I was still hungry later before bed, so I had 2 apples.

~ ~ ~

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2010
I weighed myself this morning and gained ANOTHER pound and a quarter!!! I've gained 2.5 lbs over the last two days!!! This would completely be freaking me out under normal circumstances, but i'm kind of intrigued. I decided to do the 2 cooked meals a day and it had been working like a charm, nothing changed, and then i gained. I don't get it. Am i really eating too much? Am i really eating over 3500 cals a day??? I HONESTLY don't think so!! I'm not eating any more than i was last week...

But maybe i am? I may be in denial. It's always a GREAT possibility.

What i do see is the following:
  • My ring won't come off of my finger and my cheeks look swollen. I'm retaining water... I think it's the wheatmeat stuff which i love...
  • I'm also slightly constipated. I mean, i was making like 3 and 4 poops a day. Now, barely one. I think i have been eating more bread than i had been last week, and i'm thinking maybe THAT has something to do with it. More bread means LESS vegetables and more calories, i suppose.
  • I also recognize that i've been walking regularly now and perhaps not drinking enough water! Dehydration can make you constipated. Isn't it fun to talk about pooping? Only we can do that in our community!

It might behoove me to stick more to the plant based foods (Fruits, Beans, Vegetables, Potatoes, etc...) and use bread and wheatmeat as special items.

Discovering weight gain is never particularly pleasant, but I'm trying to analyze it. And I'm coping with it differently. I didn't let it depress me for more than a few hours! I'm talking about it, instead of obsessing over it or eating over it. Most importantly, I'm recognizing that gaining weight is SIGNIFICANT feedback. It's MY BODY telling me something about me.

~ ~ ~

FOOD/ACTIVITY - WEDNESDAY, Nov 17, 2002

Br: GREEN SMOOTHIE
kale, celery, banana smoothie, with no agave. Yum!

EXERCISE: 1 hour walk, yay and cleaned out the cabinets.

Lunch: stir fry of:
1 can chick peas
spinach
leftover rice noodles that had minimal olive oil on them and a little seasoning

Sn: 1 banana

Dn: stiry fry of:
1 can chick peas
asparagus
1 large spoon of veggie soup over everything which has a little fat in it

Sn: "Sorbet Dessert" - Frozen Black Cherries, Frozen Mango, Frozen Banana, Agave, all blenderized

~ ~ ~

THOUGHTS ON AUTONOMY
I spoke with my good friend, Jan, yesterday. HI JAN! :-))) Big cyberhugs to you! Jan is encouraging of my new plan and really thinks Megan is great. SO DO I!! Jan said this, "She's really allowing you to be autonomous." I was like, "Yeahhh...", but I admit i didn't even know what autonomous meant. I liked the sound of the word so much that i came home and looked it up. No wonder the word felt so right to me. Autonomous is exactly how i feel these days...and I LOVE it!

autonomy - noun

1. the quality or state of being self governing

2. self directing freedom

3. a self governing state

synonyms
: accord, free will, choice, self - determination, volition, will

antonyms:
dependance, dependence, un-freedom


Take my walking. I did an hour today! I feel really good about this, that no one told me to do an hour, but that i came to it on my own because it felt right. Being able to work at my own pace feels fabulous! Megan suggested 30 minutes 4x/week. I began with 20 mins because it felt like all i could handle. Soon, i was doing 20 mins once myself and again later with my mom. Now I did an hour today. Working up at my own pace feels like nothing, because i went with the flow, I listened to my body saying it was ready for more. I didn't listen to anybody else telling me to do something i felt i couldn't or didn't want to. When I was with Carlene, uy, there was so much pressure. I find i don't really NEED it now. I so appreciate this freedom to explore, and do, and eat, based on how i feel or want, to self monitor, to be a big girl! I want to thank Megan for this wonderful freedom. To be supported, but to feel free, is a unique experience and i'm loving it!

There is a big part of me that feels like, "Who do you think you are to control YOURSELF????" for wanting control over my own food and exercise. "You don't know what you're doing! Who the hell do you think you are???"

I think these must be old, old tapes from when i was growing up. My parents never encouraged independance, but were enabling.


~ ~ ~

A much healthier, stronger voice is asserting itself these days. I'm very proud of it. That voice says something like this:

When you have been on a diet almost your whole life and have people telling you, "DO THIS, DO THAT, EAT THIS, EAT THAT, LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOURSELF, YOU ALWAYS MAKE THE WRONG DECISIONS, I NEED TO BE IN CONTROL OF YOU,"...you learn to doubt your own instincts, your own desires, your own motivations, your own self motivation, your own POWER, and you believe you can't do anything on your own, and that you are your own worst enemy and need HELP and to be DEPENDENT on someone to DO everything for you. Because you CAN'T do it.

This is my life story. With dieting, for sure.

So you keep running back to experts, desperately, saying, "TELL ME WHAT TO DO! I can't TRUST myself! Help me!"

But one day, you wake up and you finally realize, you don't want to listen to experts anymore. You want to be your own expert. You start to want to try to listen to YOURSELF. You want independance, and you break free.

So you do. And it's GREAT!

And then, you fall down, and you realize you were kidding yourself. And you're desperate for someone to control you again. HELP ME! You run to someone new, and submit to their control. It feels so good to be dominated! Take control of ME!! I need you! I can't do it without you! I don't know what i need, only YOU do!

But, soon again, you break from them just like you always did before. You assert your independance! It feels good.

For a while.

You fall down, again.

You do this a million times before you realize, this ain't workin'. You realize that everytime you run to an expert for help, you end up wanting to be your own expert.

So, maybe, you realize, from each person, you learned what you DIDNT want anymore, and that that was a worthwhile experience, but now, you realize you just wanted permission all along to be your own expert. You only needed support and encouragement to run your own ship.

You realize you just kept running to the WRONG PEOPLE for help.

You have some success, but over and over again, you fall down. But something is growing in you, telling you that you can have what you want, that you can do it! And you realize that you have it within yourself to pick yourself up. You just needed encouragement.

Then you meet someone who says, "You can do it. I'll give you some guidelines, but go ahead and make this your own. I'll be here to encourage you." And you feel triumphant. And you realize you have the power.

So you start to learn to listen to yourself and you feel so supported doing that. Wow! You become an AUTONOMOUS being. And you start to like it. ALOT! And sometimes you fuck up, but most of the time now you do great, but even when you fuck up, you still feel like a success because you were in control, and not some crazy plan that didn't make sense anyway.

You start to TRUST yourself! And you realize that you have the ABILITY to make GOOD DECISIONS. And to figure things out, and come up with solutions. And you realize that you will not SELF DESTRUCT like you believed was all you were capable of. And you realize it feels amazing to be the one to say, I will do this, i will eat this. You realize it feels amazing to be "self governing."

You appreciate so much that liferaft, that security of knowing someone is there, watching, guiding from afar. But, you don't need someone up your butt anymore, telling you you ate 1 banana too many. "That's not gonna cut it!" You realize a good coach and a good friend encourages you, but let's you find your way, and applauds everything you do right.

~ ~ ~

Dear Michelley,

Wow! I am loving it Michelley! You can weigh yourself as often as you like. I know I enjoy tracking minor changes day to day as well. I am so excited that you are actually enjoying the plan. There really are so many options under the vegan umbrella, especially coming from a raw food perspective. It is great that you are so conscious of including raw food though and still eating lots of fruit. I am enjoying reading your blog and I'm sure you are inspiring many people. The results are steady and amazing. How is your energy? Still feeling pretty good? Any detox? The walking is great. That's good that your mom is doing it with you.

Thank you so much for being so amazing :) I hope you have a great day tomorrow!

Love,
Bytes

~ ~ ~

xoxo michelle joy